Lincolnshire Rotary 5K race has biggest turnout yet

  • Greg Van Hollen cruises to win the Morningstar Rotary Club of Lincolnshire's annual 5K Race with a time of 17:25.

    Greg Van Hollen cruises to win the Morningstar Rotary Club of Lincolnshire's annual 5K Race with a time of 17:25. Courtesy of Alan Nerad

Updated 8/4/2021 1:58 PM

Nearly 300 runners gathered on July 4 at Spring Lake Park in Lincolnshire to participate in the 39th annual 5K race.

The race, organized by the Morningstar Rotary Club of Lincolnshire, is part of the village of Lincolnshire's annual Red, White and Boom celebration. Canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration came back in full swing this summer.


In fact, the 5K attracted more runners than in the years immediately preceding the pandemic. Many of the runners came from well beyond Lincolnshire. Among them were Tammy Buckner and Melissa Robinson from Kansas City, who took a break from their business trip to participate.

The event helped raise more than $5,000 for the Morningstar Rotary's Charitable Fund, which supports local charitable organizations and select projects of Rotary International.

Sponsored local organizations include Vernon Area Food Pantry, Shore Community Services, The Stevenson Foundation, etc. Many local businesses, led by Lifetime Fitness in Vernon Hills, donated generously to offset the costs of the race.

Numerous volunteers, including members of the Morning Star Rotary Club and the Stevenson Rotary Youth Club, helped make it a success.

Lincolnshire resident Mark Russel, the race director and an avid runner, hopes to build on the success. The 40th annual race could include, for example, awards for more age groups.

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"We have some very good 80- and even 90-year-old runners who need to be recognized," Russel said.

Russel would also like to introduce team awards "to encourage friends to get and keep fit together."

The Lincolnshire Morningstar Rotary Club is a service and social organization dedicated to helping people in need both locally and globally. The club supports local charities and community initiatives, including food assistance, college service awards/scholarships, school programs and student exchanges.

Beyond their local efforts, the club's members have participated in global service projects that included a trip to distribute wheelchairs in Argentina

Lincolnshire Morningstar is a member club of Rotary International, founded in Chicago in 1905. Currently, Rotary has more than 35,000 clubs and about 1.2 million members around the world.

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